The future is... Linux televisions

The future is... Linux televisions

Summary: Opera board member John Patrick explains why Microsoft's domination of the browser market won't last forever and how Linux will continue to evolve

TOPICS: Networking

But Microsoft has a way of taking control of markets. Why do you say they can't dominate the mobile-browser market?

When you look back, before Windows there was DOS and there are a lot of books written about what they did and whether it was right or not, but you can explain how we got to where we are. In the pervasive market it is quite a different story, because this market is not growing from a point where Microsoft already dominates.

It is still a very small market and Opera is a very big player. They are growing very nicely and [have] just announced that they are going public. This space is not like Linux moving into the desktop market and trying to compete -- which it is beginning to do and make progress -- but it is an uphill battle.

Microsoft is a very powerful company that has a lot of resources, a lot of very smart people and they have also done a lot of good things; so it would be foolhardy to suggest that they will not continue to be important, but that doesn’t mean that they will be dominant.

Clearly they are dominant in some markets today, but if you had said five years go that Linux would be operating in the heart of major financial institutions around the world and the leaders of China, Germany and Brazil would suggest that their people use Linux on the desktop, people may not have believed you.

So when there are billions of devices with Web access, how will this affect privacy?

Privacy will continue to be an area needing a lot of focus both from the user side and from vendors. It has to go very deep into the infrastructure and is not just a matter of a feature in the browser; it is a matter of the middleware that operates in the telephone companies, banks and insurance companies of the world.

Most organisations today have a privacy policy but when you ask them how they enforce it, it is quite a different question. That is going to become much more important with the pervasive computing devices spreading like they are.

These are solvable problems but they are not going to be solved by one company and one place controlling everything. That is not the way to solve a pervasive set of issues. In my opinion, the only way to address this is to have a competitive market where you have multiple vendors competing for features and function, privacy and security capabilities and an active community around those alternatives -- it has to be decentralised.

Topic: Networking

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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  • This guy is smoking excellent weed!

    If he thinks for a minute that the public wants the free DUMB to have a confusing set of sub-standard software, from multiple vendors, with virtually no support, and no way to ensure that they will still be here in ten years, then YES! He must be stoned.

    Right now, Linux is ALL about FREE. IBM loves it because it is FREE. RED HAT loves it because it is FREE. China loves it because it is for FREE. And TIVO loves it because it is FREE.

    Anyone that wants a second rate operating system that is always playing catch-up deserves to have Linux.
  • Well, welcome to the real world! I know, having been used to the unhealth drug that is Microsoft Windows, it's not easy to return to a normal, healthy life. But with persistence and professional help, you might achieve it.

  • The guy who thinks Linux is all about the 'free' is a bit of a dumbass if you ask me.

    I'm not with this whole Microsoft bashing, the whole reason that they are no 1 for most things computing is that they produce the most user friendly software.

    Linux is getting better for user friendliness, but it'll take a long long long time to get people of Windows. I think Lindows is going the right way by allowing Windows software to run under Linux.
  • "They feel inhibited doing anything new because they are afraid Microsoft's lawyers will be calling them."

    Come on guy; give me and the rest of world a break from this nonsense. I enjoy software development because it provides an avenue for satisfying creativity ways of accomplishing tasks in a virtual environment. Your definition of FREEDOM is another way of expressing your socialistic views because you
  • I think you mistake the integrated solutions that Microsoft provides as being the only way to have easy to create, complete solutions. Open Standards and Open Source are all about allowing markets to form that will offer a variety of choices, all of them open-ended. If users demand complete solutions, a vendor will package a variety of Open Source (that could mean Linux) products together into a solution. That's what Novell does with their desktop. Expect more -- much more -- of that. Microsoft's solution isn't wrong, it just isn't the only way to do this.
  • I'm not ready to crucify microsoft for the world's sins... But if you dont see any resemblence to the Apple / Ibm-Clone race of yesteryear... Then you need lasik... Open source code (linux) WILL eventually prevail... And microsoft will have to hop on the bandwagon or suffer the shame of creating fashionable software... Much like the Imac's you see in Interior Designers office's...